Megan Yee, Omar Juma MD, Jane Mcharo MD, Gasper Mmbaga MD, Karolyn Wanat MD
Medical College of Wisconsin
Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania
Bagamoyo District Hospital, Tanazania
Tanzania exhibits a critical shortage in healthcare workers, especially dermatologists. Teledermatology has been shown to increase access to care. A pilot study determined a need for dermatologic care and identified physician collaborators at Bagamoyo District Hospital. Study aims are to 1) evaluate the feasibility of a secure teledermatology platform in providing consult services and 2) assess provider and patient acceptability and comfortability with teledermatology platform. Using a store-and-forward method, images are uploaded onto a secure site with the physician’s initial diagnosis. Images are reviewed by our study’s dermatologist and given a diagnosis. Any provider or patient who utilizes the teledermatology platform is eligible to participate. Baseline surveys assess provider comfort with managing dermatologic issues using teledermatology and baseline teledermatology knowledge. Patient surveys assess barriers to dermatologic care, knowledge of teledermatology, comfort with service, and satisfaction with the process. Data is analyzed using REDCap. This study is ongoing, but preliminary results show that none of the providers have had prior teledermatology training, a majority are somewhat comfortable using teledermatology to diagnose and treat skin conditions, and all think it will be easy to incorporate teledermatology into clinic. Patient surveys show that all feel comfortable having their skin concerns diagnosed and treated via telemedicine and believe they will receive the same quality of care as a face-to-face interaction; however, a majority are uncomfortable with pictures being taken of face and/or genitals. With these study results, we will have insight on how to best use telemedicine to increase global access to dermatologic care.
Keywords: dermatology, telemedicine, global health